Sky TV (Sky) identified a market opportunity to move content outside its traditional set-top box configuration, to a more distributed, multi- device approach. The company had also identified another segment of the market, outside of their existing subscribers who would be likely to access a smaller set of content, at a lower price point than Sky's existing services.
With the expansion of other video on demand (VOD) services in the New Zealand market, Sky needed to accelerate the development and deployment of their new Neon platform.
Working with Sky's existing partners, Solnet was commissioned to design, deliver and maintain a system which would allow Sky to launch a new content delivery channel, under its own brand, and with a platform which could be managed centrally by Sky's content team.
Solnet delivered a system based on the Liferay CMS, with apps across iOS, Android, Xbox and Chromecast. The system also contained a number of APIs, to exchange data with Sky's backend systems for billing, customer details and the loading of content, as it became available via global licensing agreements.
Taking content out of the TV and consuming it on any device
With the proliferation of devices throughout the home and the changing preferences around how people choose to consume their content, it was important to move content delivery away from TV and allow people to access it, on demand and on a device which worked for them. Using Liferay CMS the Solnet team was able to develop and deploy for multiple devices simultaneously, meaning Neon could be launched across a number of platforms all at once, improving its adoption speed and launch momentum. Solnet also deployed with a number of portlet applications and micro APIs. This meant that other partners could further develop applications for Neon and integrate them easily.
A simple, single point of content management for the Neon team
Built with rapid updates and changes across the media landscape in mind, the entire Neon platform has a one hour release cycle, after propagating through the appropriate testing environments. This has given Sky the ability to plan and adjust required functionality on the fly, based on user testing. The system makes sure that viewers can be delivered the latest shows as quickly as possible, across the multitude of devices which exist across desktop, mobile and console.
Designed for easy integration with other applications
Solnet built Neon's web front end, content management system and the Neon platform. Built in a modular approach, logical separation of the APIs and integration points allowed other vendors to build additional required apps as required. This means that Sky can continue to flesh out the various platforms Neon is offered on, dealing with specialised vendors and offer a high quality user experience.
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